Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

IHS Monogram

Today is the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which commemorates the circumcision of the child Jesus, when, according to the Gospel of Luke, "he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” 

As can be seen from the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of St. Paul, the Church has from its very beginning revered and honored the name of Jesus.  There are many reasons for this devotion.  As the Catholic Encyclopedia tells us,

"The Name of Jesus invoked with confidence-

    brings help in bodily needs, according to the promise of Christ: "In my name They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover". (Mark 16:17-18) In the Name of Jesus the Apostles gave strength to the lame (Acts 3:6; 9:34) and life to the dead (Acts 9:40).
    It gives consolation in spiritual trials. The Name of Jesus reminds the sinner of the prodigal son's father and of the Good Samaritan; it recalls to the just the suffering and death of the innocent Lamb of God.
    It protects us against Satan and his wiles, for the Devil fears the Name of Jesus, who has conquered him on the Cross.
    In the Name of Jesus we obtain every blessing and grace for time and eternity, for Christ has said: "If you ask the Father anything in my name he will give it you." (John 16:23) Therefore the Church concludes all her prayers by the words: "Through Our Lord Jesus Christ", etc."

The Church devotes the entire month of January to devotion and reverence of the Holy Name of Jesus.  We will consider this devotion further as we proceed through the month. 

"Praise be to Jesus Christ!" 

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